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Alice Springs

Day Trips

Popular Day Trips in Alice Springs

Our most recommended Alice Springs Day Trips

From Alice Springs: Uluru Full-Day Tour with BBQ Dinner

1. From Alice Springs: Uluru Full-Day Tour with BBQ Dinner

Depart Alice Springs early to get a taste of the Australian Outback with a stop at Erldunda for a buffet breakfast. Then, continue to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park to see the domes of the rock formations on your first walk. Learn about the local Pitjantjatjara people at the cultural center. Then, go to the base of Uluru for a guided walk to see the Anangu rock art. Head to Mutitjulu Waterhole for a short hike to the home of the ancestral Wanampi water snake and share some traditional "dreamtime" stories. Sip a glass of sparkling wine as you watch the sunset over Uluru, and end the day with a barbeque dinner before the return journey to Alice Springs.

From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip

2. From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Day Trip

Be picked up from your Alice Springs accommodation at 7:45 AM and set off on a day of adventure and exploration! Enjoy the spectacular outback scenery and photo opportunities as you travel along the magnificent West MacDonnell Ranges, stopping at historic sites. Enjoy beautiful walks at Simpsons Gap, a natural rock amphitheater that is home to endangered black-footed rock wallabies. Stop at Standley Chasm for morning tea and a leisurely stroll. At Ochre Pits, discover rock walls covered by natural colored ochre, used for sacred ceremonies of the local Aboriginal people. Ormiston Gorge is up next: a great place for a swim, or to see the towering walls of the gorge and pound, local plants and wildlife. By now, you will have certainly worked up an appetite for lunch. The next stop is at Glen Helen. The landscape here is spectacular - a towering sandstone wall is the first thing you see as you arrive. The area includes views of Mount Sonder, one of the highest points in Central Australia, which changes colors with the light.  On the way back to Alice Springs, witness the famous and enchanting Ellery Creek Big Hole. This waterhole is one of Central Australia’s most pristine, so don’t forget your swimmers in the warmer months. Visit Flynns Memorial and from October to March, you may decide to partake in an incredible Sunset Camel Ride at the Camel farm (optional, at your own expense). The panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges are extraordinary for their immensity and the spectacular array of sunburnt oranges, maroons and purples on display. These mighty ranges light up in brilliant oranges and reds at sunset on the return trip to Alice Springs. Get dropped off at your accommodation in Alice Springs at approximately 5:30 PM.

Alice Springs: Early Morning Hot Air Balloon Flight

3. Alice Springs: Early Morning Hot Air Balloon Flight

Your ballooning adventure begins in the cool pre-dawn darkness as you are picked up from your accommodation in Alice Springs. During the drive to the desert launch site you will get to know the crew as they make final weather checks and explain the routine for the morning. At the launch site gas burners are used to inflate the balloons just as the sun lights up the rugged MacDonnell Ranges. Once floating gently in the air you will appreciate the vast remoteness of the Australian outback. Wildlife, particularly big red kangaroos are seen nearly every day as the balloon floats above spinifex grasses, mulga scrub and cattle stations. After landing, enjoy a program designed to allow you a unique opportunity to experience the Australia bush. Most landings are in the desert, kilometers away from the nearest road. There is no traffic, no other people and no noise. The perfect place to enjoy a glass of sparkling Australian wine or if you prefer some tropical apple and guava juice. Perhaps mix the two for a delightful morning cocktail. Drinks are accompanied by a variety of muffins, biscuits, slices of cheese and fresh fruit. It's the perfect mix to enjoy before reboarding your bus to return to “town”.

Alice Springs: Half-day Tour to West MacDonnell Ranges

4. Alice Springs: Half-day Tour to West MacDonnell Ranges

Experience the beauty of the West MacDonnell Ranges on this tour from Alice Springs. Head to must-see locations like Anzac Hill, Flynn's Grave Historical Reserve, Simpsons Gap, and Standley Chasm. Marvel at natural wonders and stop at some local memorials. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in Alice Springs. Sit back and relax in the comfortable bus on your way to Anzac Hill. Stop for panoramic views over the town of Alice Springs and the surrounding MacDonnell ranges. Learn about the war memorial at Anzac Hill. Travel to John Flynn's Grave Historical Reserve where the Reverend Flynn was laid to rest. Hear about Flynn, the founder of Royal Flying Doctor Service. Enjoy the changing colors of the West MacDonnell Ranges from this location and get some photos. Continue to the towering cliffs of Simpsons Gap. Discover why this area is important to the local Arrernte Aboriginal people. Stroll along a dry creek bed to a dramatic gap in the MacDonnell Ranges. Try to spot some local wildlife like black-footed rock-wallabies at the watering hole. Head to the dramatic Standley Chasm geological formation. Standley Chasm is operated by Arrernte aboriginal family members who are direct descendants of the Aboriginal people who have lived in the area for thousands of years. Experience the unique landscapes created by the micro-climate in this valley.

From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Half Day Trip

5. From Alice Springs: West MacDonnell Ranges Half Day Trip

The panoramic landscapes of the West MacDonnell Ranges are extraordinary with their immensity and array of sunburnt oranges, maroons and purples. View spectacular outback scenery and take photos as you travel along through magnificent Outback Country, making stops at the many historic locations. Depart Alice Springs to explore The West Macs, stopping at the historical Flynn’s Grave Memorial, resting place of Reverend Flynn, founder of The Royal Flying Doctor Service. Next up, travel to Simpsons Gap, featuring towering cliffs and a permanent waterhole. The site is significant to the Arrernte people as the home of giant goanna ancestors. Take a walk to sport black-footed rock wallabies and take magnificent photos. Lastly, you will visit Standley Chasm. Traditionally known as Angkerle Atwatye, this is an important cultural place, sacred to womens’ dreaming in Aboriginal culture. Take a 0.75 mile (1.2km) walk to access the dramatic 262 foot (80 metre) tall rock-face. On the way there or back, note the unusual features of the natural landscape here, the unique micro climate in this valley has created some distinctive features, such as ancient Cycads and a myriad of rock types and pebbles that are thousands of years old, washed down from miles upstream. After your walk enjoy Morning Tea at local cafe. Then make your way back to Alice Springs where you will have the afternoon free to explore.

Alice Springs: Town Highlights and West MacDonnell Ranges

6. Alice Springs: Town Highlights and West MacDonnell Ranges

Depart Alice Springs to explore The West Macs, stopping at the historical Flynn’s Grave Memorial, the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Next up, travel to Simpsons Gap, featuring towering cliffs and a permanent waterhole. The site is significant to the Arrernte people as being the home of giant goanna ancestors. Following that, take a walk to spot black-footed rock wallabies and take magnificent photos. You'll then visit Standley Chasm. Traditionally known as Angkerle Atwatye, this is an important cultural place which is sacred to women's dreaming in Aboriginal culture. Take a 1.2-kilometer walk to access the dramatic 80-meter-tall rock-face, and on the way there or back, note the unusual features of the natural landscape. The unique micro climate in this valley has created some distinctive features, such as ancient cycads and a myriad of rock types and pebbles that are thousands of years old. After your walk, enjoy morning tea at a local cafe before heading back to Alice Springs for some free time for lunch before setting off again to explore the town. In the afternoon, tour the sights of "The Alice" including the School of the Air. Learn how children who cannot access schools are educated by radio, and you may have the opportunity to listen to and observe actual lessons in progress on air. Stop at the historic Telegraph Station, which marks the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. Visit the Royal Flying Doctors Service, where you will see how medical aid reaches those who live in the remote "outback". You'll also stop at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre, where you can see up close and maybe touch some of the lizards and snakes of Central Australia's semi-arid desert. The tour later concludes with panoramic views of the township of Alice Springs and the MacDonnell Ranges from the top of Anzac Hill.

East MacDonnell Ranges: Small Group 4x4 Tour & Picnic Lunch

7. East MacDonnell Ranges: Small Group 4x4 Tour & Picnic Lunch

Explore the beautiful East MacDonnell Ranges, bearing ancient formations that reveal geological formations, picturesque gorges and Aboriginal Dreamtime stories. See evidence of early European mining adventures and enjoy a delicious picnic. Walk through the Trephina Gorge and discover superb and diverse scenery.The contrasting hues of the bright blue skies and quartzite rock formations bring all the colors of Central Australia into vivid detail.  Explore Arltunga, the boomtown at the heart of the 18th century gold rush. Discover this wonderfully well-preserved ghost town, with the restored police station, old gaol and mine shafts. Get a glimpse into the Australia’s distant past and experience what life was like for these hardy prospectors of the Outback. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch once you have worked up an appetite and stop lastly at Emily and Jessie Gaps. These picturesque gaps are of major spiritual significance to the Eastern Arrernte Aboriginal people and are registered sacred sites that include sacred paintings. An easy walk at Emily Gap takes you to a large rock painting depicting this ancient Aboriginal song line.

Chambers Pillar and Rainbow Valley 1-day 4WD Tour

8. Chambers Pillar and Rainbow Valley 1-day 4WD Tour

Go where the big operators don’t! This 4WD adventure begins at sunrise as you follow the Old Ghan railway route south to the historic landmark of Chambers Pillar. On the way, explore the ancient and sacred Ewaninga rock carvings which the local Arrente Aboriginal people have been visiting for thousands of years. Learn about the cultural significance of these astonishing petroglyphs over a sumptuous European-style morning tea. Next, visit the remote Aboriginal community of Titjikala and its renowned art center. This is a rare opportunity to purchase an authentic piece of Central Australian Aboriginal art without paying gallery prices. From there, follow in the footsteps of the early explorers, crossing the sands of the dry Hugh River, and ascending to a stunning lookout atop the Charlotte Range, from which the vast Simpson Desert and the distant Chambers Pillar come into view. Travel the same red, sandy track the great John McDouall Stuart took more than 150 years before, to arrive at the giant natural sandstone sculptures of the Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve.  Choose to walk around and even up to the base of this astonishing natural wonder. Your guide will explain the geology of this amazing landscape, taking you back to when all this prehistoric countryside was under the sea, as well as relating the ancient Aboriginal dreamtime stories that created these magnificent structures. After your walk, relax and enjoy a gourmet lunch, prepared on-site by your guide under the shade of the majestic desert oaks, in this beautiful wilderness reserve.  After lunch, visit spectacular Rainbow Valley, following the spine of the ancient James Ranges along the historical Hugh River Stock Route, passing the iconic River Red Gums and Ghost Gums of the riverine woodlands. Rainbow Valley is one of the most striking geological features in the country and her sunsets are as spectacular as any in Australia. As the day ends, enjoy a lovely, easy stroll to Mushroom Rock, amongst the distinctive plant life and flowers of this unique region, whilst your guide prepares a lavish sunset platter. Return from your walk to a banquet of European cheeses, gourmet crackers, delicious cured meats and much more, as the true colors of Rainbow Valley reveal themselves to the setting sun. Return to Alice where your guide will take you to your accommodation after an unforgettable day in Australia’s Outback. 

West MacDonnell Ranges Small Group Tour

9. West MacDonnell Ranges Small Group Tour

Depart your Alice Springs accommodation at approximately at 7.30 AM and visit the 'West Macs'-  a stunning natural wonder. Learn about this prehistoric mountain range - broken by a series of gorges and chasms - from your guide on the drive.  First stop is Simpsons Gap, which offers a short, easy walk to a waterhole (no swimming), rich in native wildlife. Follow the dry creek bed and massive River Red Gums to a dramatic gap in the range, featuring towering cliffs on either side. Keep your eyes out for the famous colony of adorable Black-footed Rock Wallabies! Standley Chasm (Angkerle) is up next, a perfect place to stop for morning tea. This picturesque walk, suitable for all fitness levels, winds through a beautiful oasis, lush with an amazing array of native plants including cycads and ancient pines. The walk finishes with an astonishing view of the sheer quartzite walls rising more than 60m on each side of the narrow chasm. Then, see Ellery Creek Big Hole: the biggest and deepest waterhole in Central Australia. It offers superb swimming (summer months only) and scenery unlike anywhere else, and is only a few minutes’ walk from the car park. Visit the Ochre Pits, where Aboriginal people have been mining ochre for thousands of years and still use ochre today for medicinal, ceremonial, and spiritual purposes. The vivid colours make for excellent photographs so bring your camera. You will also stop at Mt Sonder Lookout, which is a stunning 360 ⁰ vista overlooking one of the most picturesque sections of the Finke River: a favourite spot for photographers and landscape painters. Stop for a gourmet picnic lunch, before visiting Ormiston Gorge’s spectacular scenery. A string of beautiful waterholes emerges from the immense gorge, carved by a once mighty river. The deep, permanent waterhole offers excellent swimming (summer months only) and a stunning lookout to see abundant wildlife. Finally, on your way back to Alice, make a brief stop at the famous John Flynn Memorial before drop off at your accommodation in Alice Springs at around 5:30 pm. 

Frequently asked questions about Alice Springs Day Trips

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Other Sightseeing Options in Alice Springs

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What people are saying about Alice Springs

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 238 reviews

It was a great day out. I really enjoyed the different places we visited. The driver.guide was so knowledgeable and explained a lot about each of the locations and knew a great deal about aboriginal culture. Lunch was also great.

My daughter and I really enjoyed the tour - informative guides who had a good sense of humour. Great places to visit that weren’t too busy with other tourists.

Lovely tour. The BBQ at sunset was really nice. Highly recommendable for anyone who wants to see everything about Uluru

Our tour guide Tim was fantastic and the scenery was spectacular. We had a wonderful time!

Lovely tour. A lot of nice scenery to see and take pictures.